April 29 - Armed rebels in eastern Ukraine seize another regional headquarters, as the central government urges parliament to consider a new constitution to preserve unity and prevent further unrest. Mana Rabiee reports.
Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine seized another regional government headquarters on Tuesday. This one, in Luhansk, where they were unopposed by police. The central government has all but lost control of its police forces in parts of eastern Ukraine. That's were an armed rebel movement seeks more autonomy or outright annexation into neighboring Russia. Evicting the separatists has been a struggle for authorities. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk urged parliament to adopt a new constitution to prevent further unrest. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) ARSENY YATSENIUK, PRIME MINISTER OF UKRAINE, SAYING: "The Ukrainian Constitution must become a document of national unity; the unity that is highly needed in this country; the unity which is the only guarantee for preserving the Ukrainian state…and will preserve it as an integral, independent, European state where every Ukrainian has his legal place." Tuesday morning passed quietly in the eastern city of Slaviansk, the epicenter of the separatist movement. But months into the crisis, some residents say they're fed up the political standoff in their country. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, DANIL, SAYING: "People are afraid to walk on the streets, in general to go out. The majority of stores aren't open. I would like everything to calm down." (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, VICTORIA, SAYING: "We, Slaviansk residents are a peaceful people, only for peace. That's why I think that everything will be okay." Separatists in the city of Donetsk plan a referendum on independence for May 11. That could undermine the government's plans to hold a national referendum as early as May 25, when the country votes for a president.